A Credo For Relationships With Youth

Dr. Thomas Gordon, a specialist of therapeutic intervention between parents and children, authored a credo to help parents in pain and guide adult-youth relationships. If you are a hurting parent or adult connecting with youth, I believe this credo can provide you wise, healing counsel. Here are some excerpts:

"You and I are in a relationship that I value and want to keep.  Yet each of us is separate is a separate person with his own unique needs and the right to to try to meet those needs. I try to be genuinely accepting of your behavior when you are trying to meet your needs or when you are having problems meeting your needs.

When you share your problems, I will try to listen acceptingly and understandingly in a way that will facilitate your finding your own solutions rather than depending upon mine. When you have a problem because my behavior is interfering with your meeting your needs, I encourage you to tell me openly and honestly how you are feeling. At those times, I will listen and then try to modify my behavior, if I can.

At those times when either of us cannot modify his behavior to meet the needs of the other and find that we have a conflict-of-needs in our relationship, let us commit ourselves to resolve each such conflict without ever resorting to the use of either my power or yours to win at the expense of the other losing. I respect your needs, but I also must respect my own. Consequently, let us strive always to search for solutions to our inevitable conflicts that will be acceptable to both of us. In this way, your needs will be met, but so will mine - no one will lose, both will win."